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Category Archives: Living in… Australia

SYDNEY: meetup at the Bavarian Bier Cafe

Because we were so jam-packed during our trip – with a lot of sightseeing, even more food-eating, hanging out with my parents, going to the office, etc – we only managed to organise ONE measly meet up with ALL our friends. Very sad, but at least we had a fabulous time!

After an epic shopping day with a girl friend, we met up with everyone else at Bavarian Bier Cafe, an excellent place to have dinner and a few drinks with friends. It’s casual, yet not dodgy at all, and usually has lots of business people hanging out having a drink after work. I love the atmosphere there – you can be as loud as you want and not be out of place :P

Plus, they have fabulous food! Yummy Bavarian dishes which I can’t vouch if they’re totally authentic, but they taste real good. The food always arrives pretty quickly and the beers served even quicker ;) Go early for Happy Hour for deals on drinks and start off your night early! Had a lovely evening/night hanging out, eating good food, drinking good wine/beers and the only thing I would’ve changed was to have ordered dessert. But then their dessert menu is UN-enticing, to say the least, so none of us were inspired.

The lovely interior

A 1 litre beer!

That’s a much more feminine looking beer

Big vs little ;)

*glugs*

My lovely French girl friends

In a French man sandwich

It’s like only one of us is capable of making a normal face at any given moment ;)

SEE?!

Those glasses were gigantic!

Fabulous schnitzel. Though it was smaller than previous times – boo

All the boys

Me and my dear girl friends!

ALL of us were sticking out our tongue. I don’t think we knew :P

A mad happy shot

SCHNAPPS TIME

Was so fab to be with all our friends again!

And so, that was our whole Sydney trip. There were lots more shenanigans but we didn’t take photos of everything (hard to believe, right?) and some I couldn’t be bothered to post about. We had a TERRIFIC time – Dad’s 60th, celebrating new year’s, our friends’ wedding, day trips, lots of eating, a crapload of shopping *ahem*, and wonderful catchups with our friends.

I miss Australia already. It’s hard to believe a year has just flown past.. it seems like it was only a few weeks ago we were packing up and moving our whole lives to China! And what a crazy, fun-filled, and hair-pulling experience it has been. Still, Australia is home and I can’t wait to go back again for a visit :)

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SYDNEY: burgers at The Counter


The Counter
118 Willoughby Rd
Crows Nest, Australia

PRICE: $$
RATING:

The Counter opened right near where I lived in Sydney last year.. and I immediately headed there when they opened. Now, over a year later, we just had to go back for some custom-made burgers. Casual and friendly, this is a great place to grab a meal with friends.

For some bizzare reason, people declare their fries serving as “huge”. Not at all – but that’s just me. The regular fries are good, but nothing exceptional – just fries :P I love the sweet potato fries though, which have a lovely mild sweet flavour and go very well with the aoli dip. And the deep fried onion rings.. ohhh I could wax lyrical about these. They are dripping with oil, but are so thin and crispy and TASTY that I eat fistfuls of these with each mouthful. Mmm…

And then, of course, their custom-made burgers. I really appreciate how you can build your own burger, because you can select everything you love, and omit everything you don’t. Why don’t ALL burger places do this?! Their patties are fantastic – so juicy and fresh, and hellavalot more flavourful than Mcdonalds ;) The only thing I don’t like about them is that the burger bun is so thick. I prefer it to be softer (more gourmet) and thinner, so you can taste more of the ingredients.

My favourite’s their Apple Pie milkshake though, which is an outstanding drink. Real apple pie crushed into a rich and creamy thick shake – it’s just luscious! Probably an entire day’s worth of calories in a cup – but worth it :)

Shanghai actually has loads of burger joints, but they all pale in comparison compared to The Counter’s. I will be happy as a clam the day a place like The Counter opens up on Shanghai.

It’s very busy The Counter

Awesome gourmet chocolates, thanks !

Cool ordering system – but tooooo many choices, ahhh

Faffing around whilst we wait for our food

Ze boys

Apple Pie Milkshake – as awesome as it sounds

Regular fries and sweet potato fries – loved ’em!

And also deep fried onion rings – *%(#@)*$@ THESE WERE GOOD

A very luscious burger, with guacamole and spicy sour cream *foodgasm*

Me and the girls :)

All of us! Can you spot the psycho photo-bomber behind us? ;)

 

SYDNEY: shopping with friends at Paddington

My girl friends and I decided to hit Paddington on a sunny Saturday, since the fabulous Paddington Markets are on then and we could also potter around all the shops. Paddington easily requires a full day to shop through – and even so, you’ll need to pop into each store quickly. I love it because it’s along along street with little shop fronts, instead of in a big shopping center (yawn!). Paddington’s also home to lots of little Australia boutiques, which I absolutely adore. We actually did a TON of shopping… but you can’t really tell ‘cos all the photos are of, surprise, food. Heh.

But first, brunch! A fabulous, tasty meal at Tiger Mottle, tucked behind the main street of Paddington and offering great food and lovely coffees. It was so nice to sit down and chill out with friends, and then shop up a storm :P I miss doing all these great, outdoorsy girly things!

Tiger Mottle. Cute name, no?

Us!

Luscious mushrooms and cream cheese on toast

“Green Eggs and Ham”, haha! Pesto, eggs, ham and bread

“Bubble and squeak” – bacon, cabbage(?!), peas(?!?!), poached eggs, potatoes

Poached eggs, roast tomato, spinach and toast

Just all round strange

A somewhat more normal pic :)

I looooved my latte

Big berry smoothies

Happily fed

SWEATING LIKE CRAZY, it was stinkin’ hot

Later, for tea, we stopped by our favourite French cafe and had these ‘lil treats. Yum.

 
 

SYDNEY: our beloved Kingsford Chinese


Kingsford Chinese Restaurant
426 Anzac Parade
Kingsford, Australia

PRICE: $$
RATING:

I’ve posted about Kingsford Chinese.. oh… maybe 10 times? But actually, we’ve been there more than 50 times – EASILY. It’s actually the place that Chris and I always went to when we were friends, and when we started dating. Located a stone’s throw away from our University (UNSW), we often popped on over for dinner. We ADORE the place. They serve up very reasonably priced Chinese food and OH BOY THE FOOD IS GOOD!!!! It is hands down the absolute best Chinese food we’ve ever had in Australia… and dare I say it… one of the best we’ve had in the world – yes, even compared to the food we get here in China :P

They’re always packed out with people, almost all of which are Asian, so Chris gets to be the “token white guy” there ;) Their outstanding dish is (and all of you will already know this if you’ve read my blog for more than a year)… the Sweet and Sour Fish. Sounds standard and I know every other place has it, but THESE GUYS DO IT BEST. Seriously, no other sweet and sour fish even comes close! This has super tender, moist chunky fish… lightly battered and crisp…. in a mild sweet and sour sauce. Oh it is just divine. I consider myself a sweet and sour fish connoisseur – I order the dish at almost every single Chinese restaurant I go to – and no one can beat this version.

We also love their Sang Tung Chicken, which is always moist and juicy, with thin crispy skin, a tumble of shallots and sliced chillies, and comes sitting in a slightly tangy sauce. It’s so good I could eat it alone with nothing else. Can’t finish the large portion that comes out? Bring it home, and the next day, shred it up to make a chicken sandwich!

And, of course, their Beef Fried Rice. A heap of hot, fragrance rice with lots of tender bits of beef and a generous amount of egg – all tumbled together. I normally only find fried rice so-so – it’s nice but not great. But this one? We get it EVERY time, because it’s superior to most other fried rice. Packed with flavour, it’s pretty much a meal on its own.

This time, we also ordered the Garlic Prawns but they were fairly normal. Nice thick prawns in a creamy garlic gravy, but similar to many other places and nothing stand-out – at least not like their other dishes above.

Hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since we started visiting Kingsford Chinese, and they’re still going strong. I hope and pray they will continue for many more decades to come.. so we can bring our children there too :)

Beef fried rice

Sweet and sour fish

Garlic prawns

Sang Tung chicken

Somewhere off with the fairies in Food Heaven

 

SYDNEY: wandering around the beaches

We went for a drive by the beach, since it was a lovely day out and we wanted to chill. We went to check out the famous “blow hole” but, bizzarely, it was dry! It’s supposed to spew water whenever the water comes in but I guess we were there at the wrong time of the day since it was all bone dry :P But we had fun wandering around on the rocks and enjoying the sunshine. I never used to appreciate stuff like this, but now I really and truly do. It’s simply not possible to do anything remotely similiar in Shanghai, so we crave the outdoors whenever we’re in China.

Yet another gorgeous day in Sydney

Viewing area above the “blow hole” which was completely dry..

Walking over the rocks

Dad chills out

Mmm…. love the ocean…

I like this photo, it captures that middle seagull just as it was landing

Stopping by a petrol station, where Chris decided to clean the windows :P

“GIMMIE MONEY!!!”

Deep-fried chocolate in caramel sauce, which I had for dessert when I took some colleagues
out for lunch at Baroque restaurant at The Rocks. I LOVED THIS!!!!

 
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Posted by on 20 January 2010 (Wed) in Holidays, Living in... Australia, Uncategorized

 

SYDNEY: Pyrmont Fish Markets

No trip to Sydney is complete without a sojourn to the Prymont Fish Markets. It’s normally completely packed to the rafters with people – it is, after all, THE place to go to in Sydney for the freshest seafood at a reasonable price. We went on a weekday, and so whilst it wasn’t I-wanna-scream packed, every table was still full and the inside area was pretty full with people milling around looking at the fresh seafood.

Ya know, it’s beyond me why so many Chinese people go to the Pyrmont Fish Markets, then order a cooked Chinese-style lobster and abalone. Firstly, you go there for the awesome Aussie food like fish & chips and oysters! And secondly, you want to have it all fresh, and not spoil the taste with all the Chinese sauces/spices, considering you can get the same dish at any old Chinese restaurant around town. Hrrrmmm. To each their own I guess!

We had a fabulous feast of tasty fresh seafood, though we kinda went a lil crazy and over-ordered (as usual!) And, as always, the salmon sashimi was my favourite. There is much to be said about how satisfying a simple, super-fresh round of sashimi can be. Yummy!

Awesome seafood selection

Ready-made seafood platters

Crabs with their shells off

A scrambling lobster

Crabs!

Our wine, drunk from teeny glasses, LOL

A tumble of salmon sashimi… luscious…

And some super fresh Rock Oysters

Really sweet prawns

I HAS A PRAWN

Food, glorious food!

Calamari and more calamari

A big fat soft-shell crab

Cheeeeeesey lobster

Tucking in

Chris tackles his barramundi and chips (the fish was amazing)

Enjoying Sydney’s weather

Blue cheese, duck a l’orange pate, ash brie

The duck a l’orange pate, yum

Blue cheese, not as smelly as it normally is, fortunately

 
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Posted by on 20 January 2010 (Wed) in Food, Holidays, Living in... Australia, Uncategorized

 

SYDNEY: Illawarra Fly

Mum and Dad were keen to take us to this place around 1-2 hours out of Sydney, which I hadn’t actually heard of before. It’s called the Illawarra Fly and is located deep in the rainforest. You walk about 5 mins through rainforest, and suddenly there’s a platform hanging over the tree tops. It’s all steel but has got lots of gaps/holes all over, so is a rather frightening experience – especially for scaredy cats like myself ;) I’m not a fan of heights, it makes me feel faint and stomach-churny. And this was definitely making me feel that way!

It was fascinating though, going out and breathing clean fresh air, and seeing SO much foliage around. There’s an area that you climb up and up and up and up, round and round a small pole, until you’re at the top of a teeny platform overlooking… well, the whole world, it seems. It is SO high up, and so freaky to be up there on a tiny little platform! I think I had jelly legs the entire time ;)

A very fun experience and worth a trip, but it was a whopping AU$22 per person which I thought was heavily overpriced and a rip-off. It’s worth maybe $5 per person. Didn’t realise it was so expensive or I would’ve convinced Mum and Dad out of it :P Well, at least we got pretty views and nice cool weather!

Driving into the rainforest

There were loadsa cows. This one ran away when I tried to take a pic with it ;)

MONACO ICE CREAM BAR!!! Oh this is luscious…

At the Illawarra Fly!

Bright flowers

Walking into the rainforest

And sudden you find yourself on TOP of all the trees!

We climbed to the top to check out the view. I thought I was gonna pass out
(am afraid of heights). Was really gorgeous though..

Checking out the view

 
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Posted by on 19 January 2010 (Tue) in Holidays, Living in... Australia, Uncategorized